Just blocks from historic downtown Edmonds, Washington, and next to the Edmonds/Kingston ferry lies a simple little park. Brackett’s Landing was created in 1963 and named after the founder of Edmonds, George Brackett. The park is beautiful at low tide, with a rainbow of starfish clinging to the rocks and pier. A jetty was built in 1989 and it’s easy to take the short walk out onto it. A small sandy beach is perfect for the little ones. Informational signs and educational tiles are creatively incorporated into the landscape. You can learn about maritime history, why Puget Sound waters are so welcoming for marine life (the temperatures stays a fairly consistent 55-59 degrees) and discover interesting facts about the crabs, clams, kelp, anemone, and jelly fish. Maybe you’ll see sea lions or seals, just be sure you don’t bother the seal pups. A big sign is posted to remind you of this!
But the most unique part of the park isn’t on land – it’s in the water. In 1970 the Edmonds Underwater Park, which is one of the first underwater parks on the west coast, was created as a preserve and a sanctuary. However, it is also a 27-acre undersea playground for divers. The first structure that was sunk there was a dry dock in 1935 and was not to help marine life but to stop sand from encroaching into the ferry area. But the sea creatures loved it and over the years more vessels have been sunk. The marine life eats up the sunken vessels, so new ones such as a tugboat or crates are placed there every few years.
A map is posted outside the restroom wall and you can see how it is gridded off with different points of interest in different areas. A rope system runs through the underwater park to help divers orient themselves. There are also showers outside the restrooms for divers to wash off. Over 25,000 divers now explore the park every year. Non-divers can enjoy watching the divers getting ready and in and out of the water – they’re usually very friendly and willing to answer questions.
Watching the ferry come and go, especially at sunset, is another simple pleasure you can experience while at the park.
An important thing to remember is – this is a preserve and sanctuary. You can’t take anything from it. This means you can’t fish, crab, take star fish or even remove pretty rocks. The only thing acceptable to remove from the area is sea glass (broken shards of glass that are worn smooth by the action of the sea.)
But for such a little park, there is so much to see and enjoy, whether you are a diver or not. Head on down to Brackett’s Landing and check it out!
Directions (courtesy of edmondswa.gov website): I-5 north or I-5 south: Exit 177 for WA-104 W toward Edmonds. Follow signs for Washington 104 W and merge onto WA-104 W/NE 205th St. Slight right onto Edmonds Way/State 104 W. Follow signs for Kingston Ferry. Turn left onto W Dayton St. Turn right onto Railroad Ave. Park straight ahead.